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Wednesday, February 28, 2007
adventures in pregnancy
Well it's been an eventful week.

Last Tuesday I received a package in the mail. Excuse me, I just got kicked. Sorry- our little one got a package in the mail. Silly me. See, it was addressed to me, but the contents were purely for this little squirming bundle in my belly. I took the photos right away and was going to post but other stuff came up that I'll get into later.
The mysterious box that I wasn't expecting in the mail.


I'm sorry to say that even though it's not for me, my first thought was "how perfect for knitting!".

In the back pocket of the bag was this really cool changing pad.

If you can't read the writing, this package came courtesy of the nice folks at Nestle!

Inside was (from top left) a magazine, an Avent bottle (yay!), some samples, a can of formula, a gel ice pack, a "baby on board" sign, a pack of Carnation Instant Breakfast for the busy mom, and some coupons.

Thanks Nestle!

In other news, I haven't been posting for a week because I've been pretty much in bed for the last week. On Wednesday the innocent little Braxton-Hicks contractions I'd been getting randomly decided to start coming more regularly- in fact one every hour. When this happened from 9:30am through to 2:30pm, I called the case room of the hospital where I will be delivering, and they asked me to go in right away. I went in and wound up being there until 9pm. With the monitor hooked up it showed contractions every 20 minutes or so. They made me drink a pitcher of water to try and stop them, and instead they increased to every 10 minutes, then every 4 minutes (but eventually stayed at around every 6-10 minutes). Finally around 7:30pm they gave me an IV with a huge rush of fluids, and that stopped them for about 45 minutes. The last 15 minutes I was there I did have 3 strong ones, but by that point they had checked me twice and I still wasn't dilated- meaning I was having contractions but not in labour. At that point they said I could go home but to stay home from work until next week (I should have returned yesterday). (By the way, the reason that labour would not be a good thing right now is because I was only 27 weeks pregnant! They would have had to give me a shot to try and boost the development of the baby's lungs and so on, and/or medications to forcibly stop the contractions).

The contractions continued about every 40 minutes on Thursday, and randomly but regularly on Friday (10 minutes, 20 minutes, 7 minutes, 15 minutes, 11 minutes, etc...) When they hadn't let up by Saturday we decided to call the case room again and they asked us to come back. Luckily I was only there for about 2 hours this time, as the same doctor checked me out as had on Wed and I still wasn't dilated so he wasn't worried that I would start labour. He pulled me off of work for another week, then I got to go home and vegged the rest of the weekend with Yannick.

On Sunday we had an open house here to try and sell our place, so I took Sam and went to hang at my parents' house for the two hours it took. I'd been doing a LOT of knitting to get the project done in time for JCA and it was nice to take a little break and just sit and talk to people, since I'd been home alone since Thursday morning.

I did the same old bunch of nothing but knitting on Monday, but yesterday was a big running around day. As luck would have it I had my monthly ob-gyn appointment on Tuesday, so I knew I could ask her about the contractions (which were now stuck at every 20-30 minutes since Monday morning). Yannick was already in CSL so I drove down to meet him at my dad's store. We gave his friend Kevin my car to drive home, and Yannick and I went to the appointment. After all the stress of the last few days it was great to hear that she's not worried about them at all. She checked again and still no dilation, so she said she's not concerned at all that I won't carry fully to term. Everything else looks good, although I did lose another pound since the last time I saw her.

From there we went to my optometrist as he wanted to check out my eyes during pregnancy, what with all the hormones and the Impaired Glucose Tolerance, both things that can affect your prescription and/or your vision. Everything was fine there too, but he'd had to dilate my eyes completely so I spent the next 2 hours with sunglasses on even though it was after 5:30pm in Winter when it was already dark out, and had Yannick laughing that my eyes looked like black marbles. I was going to try to take a photo but decided that the flash would be a horrible idea so just picture my eyes with no colored area, just the entire circle part black. (Yes, I'm a bad optician's daughter who doesn't know the names for all the parts of the eye).

Lastly last night we had our 2nd prenatal class. It was a lot of fun and was all about breastfeeding. I learned so much stuff! So many myths and misconceptions were cleared up, plus we all got to sign up for breastfeeding "buddies" from a volunteer program who will be like mentors if there are any problems. There was an amazing video that showed a newborn(!) baby placed on its mother's belly immediately after birth and left there, skin-to-skin for 2 hours. After 2 hours the baby CRAWLED(!!!!) directly to the mother's breast and latched properly and began nursing. Amazing the instincts we are all born with! It was a super-informative class and I'm so glad that Yannick is coming with me to them! (It was also really funny when one of the dads-to-be had to pin on a cloth boob and demonstrate how to hold and approach the baby to get a good latch. He was a great sport!).

So now I'm home until Tuesday. I still have work to do on the JCA knit but it's blocking right now and pretty wet so I will take advantage of the time to get some baby knits done, and veg my little butt off.

Oh- and I'm officially starting my Third Trimester today! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:56 a.m.   1 comments
Monday, February 19, 2007
celebrity mail

How cool is it to open your mailbox and see a letter with a return address like that? In case the name isn't clear, that's a letter to me from Debbie Stoller (although it was most probably sent by her assistant Jennifer). It's official confirmation and payment for my very own design appearing in the 2008 Stitch 'n Bitch Calendar. I can't wait!

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 1:04 p.m.   3 comments
Saturday, February 17, 2007
As this pregnancy progresses I have felt the baby kick or move around more and more. It has been very exciting for me because it took a long time before I started to feel movements, so I love it now that the frequency has increased and the feelings are stronger. Unfortunately they haven't been strong enough for any one else to feel yet.

Yannick and I have tried sitting around for a half hour or so each night with his hands on my belly but it seems like this little kiddo has stage fright. (To me it seems like each time I think there *might* be movement Yannick shifts his hands and we have to start all over again). We've even tried just staring at my belly, because there are times when I know I've seen it twitch and jump...but of course every time I'd ask "did you see that?" the answer would always be a very disappointed "no" from Yannick.

It's been frustrating because ever since I started mentioning how often I feel the baby now, he's been trying to feel or see it to and hasn't been able to. Until now! :]

Last night for the first time ever Yannick felt the baby kick! (Or elbow or knee or punch or something). I had pushed Yannick to try again because he'd wanted to wait a few days "for the baby to get stronger" and I didn't want to wait. He put his hand on my belly and I swear within 8 minutes or so there was such a kick- it was the strongest one I've ever felt. The baby had been moving under his hand but I knew he wouldn't feel the rolls and swishes, and then all of a sudden there was this lightning-fast jab and I knew he'd *had* to feel that one, and I asked him but before he even answered I could see by his face that he HAD felt it. YAY!

To those annoyed by the baby blather...sorry! I know I'm gushing but I'm just really happy because Yannick was getting SO disappointed with each passing day and last night he was so completely elated that he FINALLY felt's even more real for him now, and he kept trying to coax the baby to do it again. Baby didn't obey.

In other news I picked up some yarn last night from Veronik Avery. Veronik and Mona work at (run?) the Montreal office of JCA Crafts and I've done some sample knitting for them in the past, and they had another job for me to do now. (I DO like to load up my plate, don't I?)

The yarn itself isn't in yet but they had one ball lying around so I could swatch over the weekend. I don't know how much I'm allowed to show or tell, so this photo is my attempt at being vague and mysterious:

Have a great weekend! I'll be busy as all 4 of Yannick's nephews (4 boys between 3 and 10) sleep over tonight. Give me strength...

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:18 a.m.   1 comments
Friday, February 16, 2007
hey wouldja lookit that- i've been knitting
First off, I must post a photo of Sam. He's been complaining that the blog has been Sam-less for too long, so here's a shot of him that Yannick took the other day.

Now then, on to the knitting.

Don't ask me where I've found time to knit, but almost all of the progress you will see below was knit THIS WEEK. (Technically you would know that as these are updates on projects I showed you last weekend, but I felt like spelling it out 'cus I'm amazed that I got so much done.) If I didn't have the previous posts' photos to compare to I never would have believed it.

This is the progress on the Clown Cardigan. (I call it that because it was original designed for Clown sock yarn, and I'm too lazy to come up with a better name). At the last photo I believe I had only been up to the neckline decreases on the first cardi front, so as you can see I have finished that side and the other cardi front. This was worked on both Tuesday night at the MKG meeting and in the car on Wed when my dad drove me to work 'cus of the bad snow storm we had (why take a chance and drive when I can get driven and knit??).

This is the progress on the entrelac blankie. I LOVE this project! I love everything about it. I doubt you can tell but there are two complete rows (one blue and one white) done since the last photo. I also remembered to take the photo BEFORE starting the next row so I could lie it out flat and take a proper photograph. I worked on this in the car on the way up north on Sunday as my family went up to spend the day with Yannick's family and his sister's family, and then again by the fire during the day as a bunch of them went out to ski and snowboard (they live on Mont Blanc ski hill). I don't ski. I don't snowboard. I wouldn't even if I wasn't pregnant. "Hi, I'm Jennifer and I'm a klutz." Enough said. So yeah- 2 rows done on Sunday. Woo hoo.

This I'm really impressed with. At the last photo I was about 10 rows from the top of the STUVW row (oh, and there are 6 rows of blocks, not 4 as I'd said previously). Now I've completed not only that row but the NOPQR row above it! I worked on this on and off in the mornings before leaving for work.

Last but not least are some squares for a mitered square baby blanket I'm working on. I completely stole the inspiration, idea and some of the directions from Shelly Kang's wonderful blankie and Britknitter's (Dianne) gorgeous blankie. Some of the yarn are my own leftovers and some were graciously given to me for trade or sold to me, or just given. A huge thank you to everyone who gave me their bits and odds and ends of sock yarn or similar weight. (If you've got more I'd love to take it off of your hands!) The biggest variation I've come up with on Dianne and Shelly's patterns is that I am going to fill in the edges with triangles to make a complete square once done. I still have tons of that black Sisu sock yarn so I will use that to provide a unified border (I don't have the patience for an i-cord border like Shelly, gorgeous as it is!). That bunch in the middle are already attached, and the others will be somewhere along the bottom row. I'm just working on placement for a bit because I didn't realize that they all had that blue and white bit and I don't want it to look like they were all from the same ball in squares side-by-side, so I'll have to make up a few others to go in between. In any case, more photos on this as it progresses.

Ok, now I have to leave for work. Have a great day!

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:59 a.m.   2 comments
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
prize-winning knits

this post is removed until further notice. :)

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posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:00 p.m.   4 comments
Friday, February 09, 2007
hey, look - i have been knitting
I've been babbling lately about the house, the SuperBowl, and the baby. How come no one reminded me that this was a knitting blog?
I am thisclose to finishing the Knitter's Gloves. They are due Tuesday night at the monthly guild meeting, and since I only have minor stuff like sewing on snaps and weaving in ends left, I am going to put it off until Monday so I can get some more fun knitting in. I had been knitting the gloves with black Sisu sock yarn and the chance to work on anything with color is so thrilling right now! First up is the Debbie Bliss Alphabet Blanket. I used my provisional cast-on adaptation (that's the yellow cotton on the bottom). I'm using an acrylic from Wal-Mart. I know, I know, acrylic + baby blankets = bad news in case of a fire. I will make sure to keep my baby away from all fires when this blanket is around. Because of the charts this is NOT portable knitting. The charts are easy to follow but I enjoy keeping this at home for when I have a good chunk of knitting time. I'm about 3/4 of the way through the second row (from the bottom) of 4 alphabet rows, then comes the tedious part of knitting a sideways border around. I'm thrilled with how it is coming out, though, and really enjoy working on it. It's got a chart but it's kind of mindless at the same time- a really nice combination.

This is the blue and white entrelac blankie of my own design. Ok, I didn't make up entrelac, but I decided how big the blocks should be, how many stitches to cast on, and I will make up some kind of border (I'm thinking either garter strips or a full garter border with mitered corners) once the main body is done. I'm using Patons Decor in the two shades and I love it! It's nice and squooshy and I find that the blue and white combo is so crisp that it works equally well for a boy or girl. My favorite color is blue, anyways. This is completely mindless knitting so I had kept it in my (large) purse to carry around for waiting rooms and car trips until I had the deadline for the Knitter's Gloves. Now that those are (almost) done this comes back in the rotation. I really want to have the baby stuff knit before the baby gets here, and what with the move and all I'm worried I'll run out of time.

This is the "Clown Cardigan", so named for the Clown sock yarn the pattern was written for. I'm using one of the Regia Canadian colors...I forget which one right now. This jumbled mess (from being squished in the bag for a few months) is the back and most of one of the front pieces.

I am making one minor change to the pattern. It is supposed to be knit with the knit side being the right (as opposed to wrong) side.

The knit side.

After much consideration, I find that with the subtling changing variagation in this colorway, I much, much prefer the purl side. So I have adapted the decreases and any other pattern notes to be done on the NEW wrong side - the knit side.

The purl side.

There's just something cute and scruffy...less "polished" about the purl side.

On the house front we had another visit this afternoon. I haven't heard from our agent yet to see how it went, but it is rather exciting to have such interest so soon. Scary too...there might have been a small part of me that didn't want there to be any interest so we could just wait out the time then get ready for baby here in the home we've lived in for the last 5 years. But I want a larger house, and I want a garage, and a separate dining room, and I know that while it will be hard at first, it will be over soon and so worth it in the end. So it's ok. But still strange.

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:01 p.m.   3 comments
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
this is all too real
Holy crap we have a home visit tomorrow. As in, someone is coming to look at our home.

Must. Go. Clean.
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:38 p.m.   1 comments
it's officially official
It's done. We signed the papers on Sunday. Our house is officially "on the market". The sign went up outside yesterday evening while Yannick and I were both out. Our neighbors were...surprised. We *probably* should have told them that we were thinking of selling. Oops!

We took a little drive around last night looking at some houses we'd found on MLS. Today I'll email our agent and let him know which ones we want to arrange visits for. This is going to be a mad rush with a lot of work to do. I think I need a nap. :)
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 9:10 a.m.   1 comments
Tuesday, February 06, 2007
an open letter to any pregnant woman who is told she needs to self-inject insulin:
-Don't read my post from yesterday!

No, seriously, don't! Or, if you already did, or are now just curious, go ahead and read it, but then make sure you read this:

What in the world was I worried about?

You don't feel a thing. Let me repeat that. YOU DON'T FEEL A THING!

I couldn't believe it! Yannick was sitting there, and I'd prepared the syringe and squeezed whatever flab of skin I could grab on my leg, and I just held my breath and *did it*...then realized- this doesn't hurt. Forget "doesn't hurt"...something can't even hurt if you can't even tell that it is happening! I was watching the needle going into my skin and I SWEAR I kept thinking that it was broken and the needle was retracting into the syringe like those joke knives kids have, because I couldn't feel the slightest little thing AT ALL.

Yannick was cracking up because I kept staring at him, saying, "it doesn't hurt." "No, really, you don't get it, it doesn't hurt." "No, you're still not getting it, I didn't feel it at all. It hurts more to test my fingers." "Stop laughing and listen to me! I can't even tell it was done, and I just did it."

So if you have to do it, just do it. I couldn't believe that you can't feel it, I still am kinda dazed that it was so easy and painless, and in a strange way, I'm looking forwards to doing it again tonight. It's kinda cool playing with needles. ;)

(Note to self- hide the big, glass jar where I dump the syringes BEFORE people come for an open house!)
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 7:47 a.m.   3 comments
Monday, February 05, 2007
scary new tools
Here's a belly shot of me at 24 weeks (last week). I'm at 24 wks and 3 of 7 days today, according to the hospital's calendar. I can't believe that in a few short weeks I'll be in the third trimester already (27wks)! As you can see, the baby bump is WELL pronounced! I (luckily) don't seem to be gaining much weight in other areas, although my face is rounder and fuller. I shouldn't complain, because I've only gained around 10 lbs so far. It seems the baby is burning off what I eat, and the rest of my fat is slowly migrating to my midsection from the other areas on my body.

Speaking of what I eat and what the baby is doing...

Think this looks scary? I did, last week when they gave it to me. My glucose levels were high so I had to go in and speak with a dietician. If I understood what they said, at the 2nd glucose test, the 75g one, you have to fast over night then go in and have your blood taken. Then you drink 75g of this nasty, orange-soda-resembling, syrupy liquid. Then you wait an hour, then they take your blood again. Then you wait ANOTHER hour, and they take your blood again. Then you get to go home and pig out 'cus you are so hungry at this point.

I had done that test a few weeks ago, after having done the 50g test on Jan 9th (at the 50g you only do no fasting, drink 50g of the stuff, wait an hour and do 1 blood test. It's to see if you need to bother going for the 75g.) My levels were slighly high, so I had to go for the 75g. Now, here's how I believe it breaks down. If 2 or more of your results from the 75g are high, (so 2 or 3 out of 3) then you are considered as having Gestational Diabetes. If only 1 of the 3 blood tests comes back as being high, then you have Impaired Glucose Tolerance. I could be wrong, but I believe the nurse told me that IGT doesn't have as high risks as GD, for example it is more likely to go away after you give birth, and it doesn't have as high a risk of you getting Type II Diabetes later on in life. I'm not 100% sure about that, though. In any case, I have IGT. My initial test, after fasting over night, was high.

Last Monday I was given that lovely little kit up there, and an rx for lancets, test strips and keytone testing sticks, met with a dietician, and found out that for the rest of the pregnancy I need to test 4 times a day: first thing in the morning, 1 hr after breakfast, 1 hr after lunch and 1 hr after supper. I also need to eat 3 full meals and 3 snacks a day- hard for me right now 'cus I've had NO appetite since being pregnant.

Anyways, my baby's health is the most important thing, so for the last week I've been following this plan, recording what I eat and my sugar levels (although I did make myself a new form in Excel because theirs was NOT user-friendly to me and I knew I could do better). I was pleasantly surprised to find out that pricking my fingers to test doesn't actually hurt at all, although if I look closely at my fingertips I can see a bunch of fading red dots.

I thought I was doing ok.

Trust me...that kit up there does NOT look scary at all when you are faced with this:

Yeah. Insulin.

Turns out I have been doing a great job at watching what I eat. My daytime levels are great. Unfortunately my first-thing-in-the-morning levels have been high for 4 of the 7 days I tested. This means my body is not producing enough insulin while it is fasting (overnight while I sleep). I thought that meant I wasn't eating enough at my bedtime snack, or maybe I was eating too do I fix that? Well, apparently it has nothing to do with what I eat. It's just how my body reacts to being pregnant. You know, the nurse, the doctor and the dietician all tried to make it clear to me that it's not my fault, it has nothing to do with what I have eaten, or my lifestyle, or the fact that I was overweight, or anything. It's just how my body reacts. But still...I can't help but feel like I failed. Like I did something wrong and put my baby's health at risk. Let me tell you I was not happy to find out I have to give myself nightly injections, and nearly started crying in front of the doctor.

So the nurse showed me how to load the syringe, flick out the air bubbles, and told me how to inject it. (As an aside- I wonder why I was given an actual syringe and not a trigger-type gun thingy like the finger-pricking tester? Wouldn't that be easier for someone who has never injected themselves with anything?) She couldn't show me how to actually inject it because I have to do it at night before going to bed, after my bedtime snack. Tonight I get to try it out for the first time.

Apparently you can inject on the outsides of either thigh, or the fleshy part on the back of your arm, or the stomach. Now, even though I have the easiest time "pinching an inch" on my stomach, the thought that there is a baby in there does NOT have me wanting to "shoot up" there. Plus I heard it hurts more on the stomach. I have an easy time squishing my upper arm against the back of a chair to find a fleshy spot, but once I have it pinched I no longer have a hand to inject with! (I guess I could keep my arm pushed against the chair to hold the skin up and shoot with the other hand, but that's a little too awkward for me to contemplate at the moment). That leaves the outside of either leg. I can't really pinch anything on my legs but I guess I'll figure it out tonight. I've asked Yannick to be home for moral support but I don't know how well that will go since the only thing he's *afraid* of is needles. (I'm sorry. He's a man. He's not afraid, he just doesn't like them. Forget I said anything about being afraid.)

I'm sure that once I do it once it will be fine, and that the buildup is scarier than actually sticking that thing into my leg. Yeah. By tomorrow I'll be laughing. Unfortunately I have to get through tonight first. I try to tell myself...I did an amnio...I can do this! (I just wasn't the one holding the needle during the amnio...)

I'll post a follow-up tomorrow and let you know how it goes. Let's see if I can get some knitting done tonight and forget about it for a bit.

posted by Jennifer Lori @ 8:38 p.m.   1 comments
Sunday, February 04, 2007
y e s ! ! !

Woo Hoo!!!!
Indianapolis Colts win 29-17 in Super Bowl XLI!!!
It's about time!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 10:19 p.m.   2 comments
cheer with me...

Let's Go Colts, Let's Go!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 6:20 p.m.   0 comments
Saturday, February 03, 2007
moving on up
It's depressing to look at my blog. I know I haven't posted since, what-? Last Monday? Forgive me, please. I just hit 24 wks (6 months) pregnant and I'm TIRED. By the time I get home from work I'm lucky if I manage to watch an episode of TV, much less knit anything, MUCH less blog. The lack of knitting and lack of anything interesting in life leaves me with pretty much nothing to blog about.

But there might be stuff soon. Yannick and I have 90% officially decided that we will be moving. Yes, at 6 months pregnant, we are going to be putting our house on the market. (As an aside- forget getting married and having a baby...there's something about saying "we're putting our house on the market" that makes me feel oddly grown-up).

We have met with an agent to evaluate our home and tomorrow he is coming back to take photos and measurements and so on, and by next week I think we'll be listed on MLS. ACK. He's of the "sell first, buy later" camp, figuring it will be harder to get a buyer than it is to find a house we like, so we should ensure that we're not stuck with 2 mortgages by selling first. Our only condition is that we sell by March 31st (sell- not move) because if we haven't sold by then, we will have only a month and a half to get our house ready for baby. I refuse to cut it closer than that. I'm not sure when we'll actually move...I guess sometime in the end of June or later, or if it is sooner then it will have to be before the 3rd week of April in case this kid is early. If the move is sooner it would be a huge rush to pack, but we can do it if we work hard. If it is later we'll have more time to pack slowly, but I won't be able to help as much 'cus I'll be busy with the little one.

So we'll see. I'll update with more info as I have it, but for now that's all I know. We're going on the market, and then the house-hunting will commence in earnest!
posted by Jennifer Lori @ 3:06 p.m.   2 comments
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